CALGARY, AB — It’s been a storied career for Tracey Kelusky.
The former Calgary Roughnecks captain traded his stick in for a clipboard and announced his retirement from the National Lacrosse League on Friday in exchange for an assistant coaching gig with the newly named New England Black Wolves (formerly the Philadelphia Wings).
“Deciding to retire was an extremely difficult and emotional decision,” Kelusky said. “The opportunity to continue on as a coach and stay involved in the sport I love and a game that has afforded me so much has definite made the decision a lot easier. I’m truly honored and very excited about this new chapter in my lacrosse career.”
The 39-year-old spent his most productive years in Calgary and enjoyed a pair of Champion’s Cup titles in 2004 and 2009.
Kelusky currently sits second in Roughnecks franchise history in goals (256), assists (283) and points (539), behind only Kaleb Toth in all three categories.
After playing out a successful college career at the University of Hartford where he entered the NCAA record books with 59 goals in 14 games during the 200 season, Kelusky began his NLL career with the Columbus Landsharks in the 2000-01 season and was named NLL Rookie of the Year.
The following season he was picked up by the expansion Montreal Express and made a memorable first appearance in Scotiabank Saddledome, racking up a 10-point night as the visiting Express spoiled the party at the inaugural game for the Roughnecks by beating them 32-17.
Calgary made Kelusky the first overall pick in the 2002 dispersal draft after the Montreal franchise folded.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Playing for Calgary, he posted 60-plus points in five straight years.
An iconic player and fan favorite as team captain, “TK” won two titles during his eight-year run with the Roughnecks, first in 2004 and again in 2009. In 2005, he was named the MVP of the NLL All-Star Game in front of a home crowd at the Saddledome.
The fierce competitor posted eight seasons with over 30 goals. With over 800 career points and loose balls, Kelusky is eligible to be nominated for the NLL Hall of Fame at the end of the 2015 NLL season.
Kelusky’s playing career in Calgary concluded on October 6, 2010 when he was dealt to the Buffalo Bandits for a first-round selection in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft. He signed with the Philadelphia Wings in December of 2013 and played his final NLL season in 2014.
The Peterborogh, ON native was an active member in the Calgary community. He ran various lacrosse programs and coached lacrosse in the National Sport Acadamy school program and Triumph Lacrosse, another school program that is still active run by Andrew McBride.